[Marxism] Value of List

D OC donaloc at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 20 04:59:09 MST 2006

A chairde,

I don't often post to this list. But I read it and the leading posts pretty 
much every other day.

I get a good bit out of some of them in particular, I value its role as 
acting as a magnet for quality information that cuts through the bourgeois 
analysis we are fed with on TV. I similarly value the role of a list like 
the A-List for its ability to concentrate economic analysis and news. I have 
to admit that I use these lists like I use a newspaper. The marxism list is 
like an open radical paper with lots of opinions most of which are of 
interest- with a large letter's column. The A-list is like a left wing 
Financial Times at times.

I think that the commitment from people like Louis to keep these lists going 
is indeed praiseworthy. He doesn't get much thanks. I think he deserves 

Walter's posts are probably among the most interesting to me - as I go to 
marxmail for them - it's easier and I get to see what else is 'in the news'. 
I don't have to 100% agree throughout but it gives me an alternative vision.

I have to admit that I've largely lost my initial hopes that a list such as 
this could act in some way as an international of sorts. The level of 
analysis is just too low. Arguments presented usually end at precisely the 
point where someone like a Lenin would begin them.

I have to say that my debates with Philip Ferguson - I felt perhaps due to 
egocentricism - we had an attempt to really take on issues in all 
seriousness. Certainly, things get very serious and nasty in the heat of 
battle. How couldn't they - if you are a serious revolutionary then a 
correct approach to struggle is what defines your personal worth in some 
fundamental sense. The stuff on Australian politics is sometimes of that 
value - although the relative weight of the DSP is much smaller.

I sometimes re-read my comments and squirm where I feel that I feel short in 
some aspect e.g. my petty comments on Ali-G.

If we could have a list where there was similar commitment on all sides, 
then we'd be getting somewhere. Strangely, I am most drawn to the debates on 
marxmail. They seem to bring out the best in people - where opinions are 
genuinely expressed you get a deeper analysis as each tries to convince the 
other (or the gallery) that they are afterall correct. The loss of able and 
distinctive members is always, then, from that perspective, a huge loss to 
the list. The overall trend is however to eliminate distinctive voices at 
times - I fear.

I think that the suggestion that the list takes itself more seriously is a 
worthwhile one. Commenting on new stories is insufficient really. Commenting 
on films and music is of lower importance still. It only gets us so far. 
What's needed is really people taking the time (or making the time in their 
busy (hopefully activist) lives) to write on their experience of struggle 
and their thoughts. That would be really useful. I guess that's what Louis 
is saying to Walter. Speak to the struggle you face. Maybe things are so 
limited in the USA that there is no *concrete* struggle like we face - but I 
can't believe that.

Maybe the problem for some of us, is that we can't talk that clearly on 
things. Maybe we can't discuss what it is that we do on a weekly basis. 
Maybe the problem is that some aren't doing anything concrete (shame) of 
worth. Maybe activism on e-lists is where people are at?!?

That's my take. The list is of worth - but like everything it needs to be 
reviewed in accordance with its successes and failures. Everyone should 
contribute as we all value it sufficiently to look and, occasionally, 
comment. Don't give up on it, change it.

Le meas,

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